A teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a teacher was stabbed at a school in Gloucestershire.
A boy fled the scene of Tewkesbury Academy after the incident at around 9am, and was later arrested by armed officers in the nearby Stoke Orchard area, police said. A knife has been recovered, and the boy remained in custody late on Monday “while inquiries continue”.
The teacher, who sustained a single stab wound in a school corridor, was discharged from hospital late on Monday Gloucestershire Police said.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Ocone told reporters at the scene: “Just after 9am we received a call from someone telling us about a threat to a teacher at Tewkesbury Academy.
“Minutes later we received a call from the ambulance service telling us that a male teacher had been stabbed in a corridor at the school.
“He was taken to hospital with a single stab wound and remains in a stable condition.
“This was clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the victim, their family, and everyone impacted by what happened here at the school.
“We are working with the school and other agencies to ensure appropriate support is available and local people will see more police in the area over the coming days as the investigation continues.”
Schools in the area were put in lockdown amid the incident. A Tewkesbury Academy spokesman later said pupils had been sent home for the rest of the day.
Michelle Smith, mother to a 13-year-old at the school, said the stabbed teacher was “very popular” with parents and pupils alike.
She said: “Even though you know your child is safe and the school are doing a fantastic job, knowing who has been stabbed and knowing it is one of your child’s favourite teachers, you know they are going to be very upset when they come home.
“They informed us of what they could as soon as they could, and they have been absolutely brilliant… As soon as they said we could bring him home I was down here.”
Of the teacher, whose name has not been released publicly, she added: “He is one of those teachers you know you can email him or talk to him. He gets back to you and I am really, really very concerned about him at the moment. I have got everything crossed for him. We know the kids are safe now, we just need to know that he is OK.”
Erica Farley, who also has a child attending the school, said: “As a parent, I am obviously concerned for my son, but very happy in the knowledge that the staff at the school and the police have provided an incredible response in keeping our children safe and have brought this to a swift conclusion.”
A school spokesperson said: “Shortly before 9am today, staff were alerted to a serious incident which left a male member of staff in need of hospital treatment.
“School leaders immediately contacted police and placed the site into lockdown in line with our robust safeguarding procedures.
“Police have been on site throughout the morning and supporting us to ensure pupils were kept safe and secure while the incident was investigated. Officers have since arrested a teenage boy in connection with this incident.
“We will now be following police guidance in how to ease the lockdown before releasing students to return home.
“No decision has yet been made on when the school will reopen, but we will be drawing up plans to support our students and staff in the wake of this incident.
“We are grateful to all our staff, parents and students for their patience and understanding during what has been a difficult morning, while our thoughts are with our injured colleague – we wish him a swift and successful recovery.”
A spokesperson for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said: “We were called at 9.08am to an incident in Tewkesbury on Monday 10 July.
“We sent three double-crewed land ambulances and two operations officers. We conveyed one patient by land to Gloucester Royal Hospital.”
Ambulances and a convoy of six unmarked police 4×4 vehicles – believed to contain armed officers – have since departed the scene, but police patrol cars were still parked on the school grounds on Monday afternoon and uniformed officers stationed at its entrances.
Earlier, teachers at the nearby Tirlebrook Primary School posted a message on Facebook saying its school and the nursery on its grounds had also been locked down on police advice and urged parents not to come to the school.
“An incident has occurred this morning at Tewkesbury Academy and we have been advised by Tewkesbury Police to put in place a lockdown,” they said.
“We have a police presence at school and are being fully supported at this time. We would like to reassure all families that children at Tirlebrook and Little Oaks are safe and well.
“We must ask that families do not come to school during this time as this could compromise the police operation currently underway and also compromise the safety of the children.”
A crowd of around 100 people gathered outside Tewkesbury School following the incident.
Parents and carers of children at the affected schools were advised to go to a nearby garden centre where they were told they would be able to access further assistance from the police.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said she was “deeply concerned” over the incident, adding: “We are closely monitoring the situation and remain hugely grateful to the emergency services who are currently on the scene. My department is on hand to support the school as the situation unfolds.”
The general secretary of the Association School and College Leaders described the stabbing of a teacher at Tewkesbury Academy as “appalling”.
Rishi Sunak said his thoughts are with the individual who has been injured and with the staff and pupils of the school.
Tewkesbury School is part of the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust responsible for a number of academies in the South West of England.
A recent Ofsted report, published in January, rated the mixed comprehensive school as “requires improvement”.